Angus News

The reluctance of many bull buyers to accept any birth weight above breed average (Birth EPD +1.4) has been seen now for several years. From a bull breeders standpoint, it is hard to understand, why this persists. Birth EPD is determined by weight and shape (CD). The emphasis on actual shape seems to be ignored and weight overemphasized. We weigh all the calves at birth, so we know that there is a big difference between size and weight; not all calves of the same weight are the same size.

An example would be two twenty pound packages. One package is six inches by six inches by fourteen inches, containing a welding rod. The other packages are twelve inches by twenty-four inches by twenty-four inches and contain a replacement seat cushion. Both weigh the same but the size is not the same.

Not all heavy calves are extra large; just like not all twenty pound packages are the same size.

The Angus breed has practically zero calving problems in cows, no calves too big to deliver unassisted. Since we weigh all calves we see how much faster the eighty-five and ninety-pound calves grow and how much more muscle and power they exhibit. And they came unassisted; the cow has them with no problems. These cows are about the same size as most commercial cows and some are smaller.

So, a bull with an EPD of +2.5-+3.0 for birth is in real terms 2.5 to 3.0 pounds heavier at birth than that calf from a +0 EPD calving ease bull. Not all heavy calves are extra-large; just like not all twenty-pound packages are the same size After weighing calves at birth for 40+ years, we still can’t guess accurately what a calf will weigh. It is very doubtful that you can see the difference of two or three pounds. When you see a bull you like and are intending to breed cows; ask the people who bred and calved him about the size, we were there, and we will tell you the facts.